City of Windows - Robert Pobi

Ok thriller lovers, listen up. There’s a lot of buzz around this book & I’m here to say you can believe it.  This is a cracking read that delivers. Tense action, intricate plot lines, a frighteningly efficient killer & suspense that builds to a hair raising finish. It may sound like a stock recipe for any thriller but the reason this one succeeds so well is down to two things…..how the author blends those ingredients then tosses in a compelling & charismatic MC.

 

Dr. Lucas Page is a brilliant man with a unique ability. Once upon a time he was an FBI agent with a partner named Doug Hartke. That was before “the event” that ended his career & resulted in him losing a leg, an arm & one eye. Now he’s a mix of man & metal who spends his days teaching at Columbia University. The rest of his time is devoted to wife Erin & the 5 kids they foster. Until NYC Special Agent Brett Kehoe comes knocking.

 

Hartke is dead. He was sitting in downtown traffic when killed by a sniper. Kehoe needs Lucas’ brain & is willing to play the guilt card to get it. No one “sees” like  Lucas. HIs gift is the ability to shut out the noise & reduce his surroundings to a series of vectors, angles & numbers to pinpoint where a shot originated. But when he visits the crime scene it becomes clear they’re not dealing with your garden variety sniper. The shot came from a distant roof top & should have been impossible.

 

As far as Lucas is concerned, it’s a one & done job. He’s well aware Erin is less than thrilled about him working with the FBI again & besides, he promised to devote the Xmas season to their herd of kids. Then another member of law enforcement is taken out in similar fashion. More will follow, each shot more unbelievable than the last. Lucas helps out but resists an official return to service until his family is targeted. Now it’s personal.

 

Holy Cats, buckle up people. This one will keep you on your toes. What follows is a riveting tale of the hunt for a highly skilled killer. Lucas & his colleagues must dig deep to discover motives & connections. There is a large & diverse cast of characters that add colour, humour & drama to the story. One standout is Whitaker, the agent assigned to Lucas. She’s a whip smart woman whose quiet demeanour masks a spine of steel. Good thing because while she may find Lucas’ abilities fascinating she’s less enamoured with his complete lack of social skills. Watching their relationship develop was one of the things I enjoyed most about this book.

 

But everything revolves around Lucas & he’s up for carrying the story. At work he’s terse, impatient & antisocial, sometimes with unintentionally humorous results. At home we get to see his softer side & through a series of childhood flashbacks we come to understand why he & Erin have created their unique family. It turns out he was once just like them, unwanted & moved around at the whim of social services. Another thing that is very well done are descriptions of his prosthetics & how they affect daily life.

 

It’s a great example of what sets this book apart from other thrillers. Yes, there’s plenty of action but it’s the personal details & characters’ histories that add the human element necessary for a reader to become truly invested. I ripped through this in a day & sincerely hope it’s not the last we’ve heard from Dr. Lucas Page. Recommended for fans of Daniel Cole or Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series.